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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Top achievers arrive at UFS
2017-01-26

Description: Tshepo Thajane Tags: Tshepo Thajane

Tshepo Thajane, winner of the Kovsies
Star of Stars competition.
Photo: Eugene Seegers

Although first-year registration officially started on 23 January 2017 at the University of the Free State (UFS), the Marketing department invited some of the top-achieving matrics in the country to an event on Friday 20 January to assist them with early registration. These high-flying pupils have AP scores of 40 and above, and worked hard to get to where they are today, with driving ambition for their future.

The #StarOfStars
Tshepo ”Doctor” Thajane is the winner of the newly-established Kovsies Star of Stars competition, and as such received a full bursary from the UFS, among other sponsorships. He has enrolled in Actuarial Sciences and will be housed at the Karee residence. When asked what drew him to our university, he responds: “I just loved the university before I entered it, and I chose the UFS because of the respect I was shown.”

Friendly reception
Lendl Ontong will be pursuing his LLB in the Faculty of Law, and has obtained a place in the brotherhood of the Karee residence. The Ontong family hails from Worcester in the Western Cape. Lendl’s father, Mr Lionel Ontong, had this to say of his experience: “The staff at the UFS, especially at the admissions office, is the friendliest group of people I’ve ever come across, and helpful as well. My wife was sceptical when I told her about the friendly treatment I experienced when I phoned the university, but when she witnessed it today, she could see it first-hand. The friendliness is contagious, and even though I’m tired after the long journey, their attitude has rubbed off on me. And my wife now has the assurance that her child is going to be happy here. The atmosphere is one of homeliness. It’s fantastic! Even the netball coach introduced herself to my son and invited him to pop in for a cup of tea, and she won’t even be involved with his university journey. It meant a lot to us as parents.”

Description: Jani Gerber  Tags: Jani Gerber

Jani Gerber and her dad Jaco Gerber.
Photo: Eugene Seegers

Runs in the family

Jani Gerber is a second-generation Kovsie who hails from Port Elizabeth. She won the cultural division in the Matriculant of the Year competition in 2016 and was invited to join the UFS. According to her, she “didn’t even consider another university”.

Her dad, Mr Jaco Gerber, says: “The whole process of application and registration was very efficient and professional. Jani’s older sister, Anri, completed her MBChB at UFS last year and is currently working at the Pelonomi Regional Hospital. Jani has already been adopted by new friends in her residence. She says, “Some charming students welcomed us at the residence, and even helped out when we were unpacking.” Jani has aspirations to sing in the annual Stagedoor and Serenade Singoff competitions.

We welcome all our first-years and look forward to supporting them throughout their university journey!

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